Justia Utilities Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Arkansas Supreme Court
Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District v. JMS Enterprises, Inc.
The Supreme Court dismissed this appeal stemming from an illegal-exaction case challenging whether a court-ordered annual service fee charged to customers by Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District to repay Ozark Mountain's creditors is statutorily or constitutionally permitted, holding that the order was not a final order.Specifically, the Supreme Court held that the order in this illegal exaction case was not a final, appealable order because it contemplated further action by the parties and the circuit court. Further, the record demonstrated that the Attorney General did not seek a Rule 54 certificate to certify the issues presented for appeal. Because the order was not a final order, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal. View "Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District v. JMS Enterprises, Inc." on Justia Law
Sw. Power Pool Inc. v. Kanis & Denny Roads Suburban Water Improvement Dist. No. 34
In 2013, the Kanis and Denny Roads Suburban Water Improvement District No. 349 of Pulaski County (the District) reassessed Southwest Power Pool, Inc.’s (SPP) commercial facility, an improvement on its property that is connected to the City of Little Rock’s waterworks system, which resulted in an annual levy of $60,653. The District’s board of equalization confirmed the reassessment. SPP then filed a complaint in circuit court, arguing that the reassessment was wrong as a matter of law and of fact. The circuit court largely granted the District’s motion for summary judgment, and, following a bench trial on the issue of the sufficiency of the 2013 notice of reassessment, the circuit court granted final judgment in favor of the District. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that SPP’s facility cannot be assessed, and accordingly, the 2013 reassessment, and the subsequent reassessments, are invalid. View "Sw. Power Pool Inc. v. Kanis & Denny Roads Suburban Water Improvement Dist. No. 34" on Justia Law
Davis v. City of Blytheville
Kenyghatta Davis brought a class action complaint against the City of Blytheville and its Water Department, arguing that the Water Department’s charging of late fees on overdue accounts was an ultra vires act because there was no statutory authority allowing the City to impose late fees and that she was entitled to a declaratory judgment finding that the charging of the late fees was usurious and an unreasonable and unconscionable penalty. The circuit court granted summary judgment to the City, concluding (1) the City had expressed, implied, and incidental authority to establish and assess fees for late payments; and (2) Davis failed to offer any legal support for the claim that allowing the Water Department to collect these charges violated the law. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the City can impose a late fee when there is a violation of the ordinance relating to the payment of a bill; and (2) these late fees are not usurious or an unreasonable or unconscionable penalty. View "Davis v. City of Blytheville" on Justia Law